Josephine Seibert May 19, 2019 Lease Agreement
While many essential and optional lease terms are included in pre-printed, standardized lease forms, those terms may or may not fit your needs as a property owner. It’s important to note, however, that standardized agreements don’t always fit the situation and they may or may not be customized to meet your state and local requirements. When you have questions or want to customize a lease agreement, working with a qualified real estate lawyer is the best way to get the best lease agreement – one you and your tenants can live with comfortably.
Restrict illicit behaviors: Your goal here is to keep all of your residents happy, prevent property damage, and protect yourself from lawsuits. As such, your lease agreement should prohibit disruptive behavior (e.g. excessive noise) and illegal activity (e.g. drug dealing). Specify any other restrictions, from parking rules to the use of common areas.
Set the terms for deposits and fees: How much is your security deposit? What are the terms of its use (e.g. the landlord can use it for damage repair; the tenant can`t apply it toward their rent)? When and how will the security deposit be returned at the end of the lease? Do you charge any non-returnable fees (e.g. for pets or cleaning)? Where is the deposit being held, and are you obligated to return the interest that it generates? (Check the legal requirements for your state.)
Repairs and damages- the condition of the property should be noted as well as the tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities for repairs and problems with the property. The lease agreement should also describe whether the landlord or tenant is responsible for damages to the property.
Alterations to the property – the lease agreement should describe what, if any, alterations the tenant may make to the property. Right of entry – the lease should include a clause that allows the landlord to enter and inspect the property with reasonable notice. The terms should define reasonable notice and explain the rights of the tenant.
Assign maintenance and repair duties: Your lease agreement should specify that it`s the tenant`s job to keep the unit in good shape, and that they`re responsible for any damage that they cause. Require the tenant to alert you to hazardous or defective conditions, and lay out your procedures for responding to complaints and requests. Forbid the tenant from making alterations to the unit or changing the locks without your written permission. In addition, your lease agreement should specify who`s responsible for utilities.
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